Presidential candidates wrangle over experience, ideas at Downtown Devil debate

Photos by Madeline Pado

Presidential candidate Erika Green, incumbent Joseph Grossman and the four vice presidential candidates squared off Friday at the Downtown Devil Presidential Debate, primarily wrangling over the extent of their government experience.

Sporting socks with ASU colors, Grossman touted his dedication, often referring to the accomplishments of his administration, and accused Green of being unprepared for the responsibilities that come with the office.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees, you have to request a budget and you have to make sure you manage that budget,” Grossman said. “Because when you go over the budget … it’s not there for (clubs and organizations) to use it, then you’re not even doing the job you’re supposed to be doing.”

Green, dressed in green, argued that Grossman has not engaged well with students directly and said he has failed to properly advertise events or spread awareness of USGD.

“What you have to do is go out and use people power, the power of grassroots organizing. Getting the people to come together and actually directly speaking with people one on one,” Green said. “If you can draw on the power of the people, you don’t need to have a huge amount of money.”

This exchange was similar to the USGD-sponsored debate on March 27, where relative experience was also mainly discussed.

When the debate moved away from the candidate’s experience, it tended to focus on their ideas for the campus next year.

In a recurring exchange at the debate, Green would introduce an idea she believed should be incorporated into ASU student government, only for Grossman to explain that the idea has already been either implemented or was tried and failed.

Green discussed the adoption of a universal calendar for use by clubs and the four campus governments to reduce scheduling conflicts.

Grossman rebutted by saying a universal calendar was in place and starting to become more used, crediting himself for pushing that idea. He also said USG is working to develop a phone app linked to the calendar.

“What you’re seeing right now because of me pushing the initiative, establishing the Universal Spirit Pride Tradition committee, is that now we have a universal calendar that actually goes through all the campuses,” Grossman said.

Green lives on the Tempe campus, and when asked if she thought the move had disconnected her from Downtown student concerns, she called her move to Tempe “bad decision.” She said she is often on the Downtown campus and is currently looking for an apartment downtown.

Green said that living in Tempe the past year helped her to see some things that need to be improved at the Downtown campus, specifically, increasing the number of businesses that participate in ASU’s Maroon and Gold program.

Grossman called this a difficult task, calling Aramark a “monopoly” whose profits cut out the incentive for businesses that are already successful to buy into the program.

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